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  1. #1

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    Intrinsically Valuable

    Intrinsically Valuable - part 01

    This is the story of how a young, naive but hopeful manager, Damian Dastardly - a.k.a. me - and a team of analysts convinced a football club with little history of success to try a different way of reaching the top.

    Inspired by innovative methods such as prioritising the lesser known valuable traits of players, better known as moneyball, and the revolutionary approaches to scouting practised by the likes of Brentford and FC Midtjylland, computer analytics and vertical integration, I will apply a recruitment-based approach to seeking footballing success.

    If we reach the top it won’t be on the back of huge investment, and it won’t be because of tactical innovation. It will all be based on analysing lesser known players and seeking to find the hidden gems with amazing talents. It will be by understanding what is it that makes players…

    Intrinsically Valuable

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is the 12th of July 2015, and I’m here in the Memorial Stadium, Bristol, home of Bristol Rovers FC. Rovers finished 23rd in League Two last season, one place above dropping out of the football league completely, and they are going nowhere. They don’t even have a chairman, or even a board member! We are here because the fan’s committee responsible for seeking a replacement for Ray Graydon had been convinced by our pitch to try a new way of doing things, the Intrinsic Way. It’s just me, my analysts (Olly Britnell, Jamie Bates, Russ Kelsall, Neil McNab) and a ton of gigabytes of player analysis, scouting video and agent’s phone numbers.

    Bristol Rovers have some players on the books, of course, but it is a small squad of 20, and has not been put together with a lot of care and attention to detail. Nonetheless, there are a few talented players here - right back Danny Boxall probably the pick of the lot - so we won’t need to build an entire squad from scratch, but there is a lot of work to do, and I expect to make a lot of free signings in the weeks before the season kicks off at home to Kidderminster.

    Pre-season objectives


    • Hire my team of analysts - done!
    • Build a squad of intrinsically valuable players for less than the available £250k transfer budget



    Rules!


    • No wibwob
    • Sensible transfer expenditure
    • Follow an intrinsically useful transfer strategy… which means, identify low PA promising players using the CM Scout Intrinsic application and then follow up with in game scouting reports before making signings based on scouting reports

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  3. #2
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    Will keep an eye - this all may be too technical for me tho

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    I wouldn't consider myself an expert by any means, Redders, so hopefully it'll be mostly about the footy and only minor side tracks into why is this player/team so good/terrible

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 02

    Curious side note: in the 3.9.68db Bristol Rovers’s squad includes a 48yo attacking midfielder called Geoff Dunford. He actually should have been listed as the chairman, but instead he was created as a player So far as I can tell he never played for a pro-team, and he mainly retweeted pictures of food. Oh, and he’s dead now.

    Spoiler!


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As the contracts were sorted out with the analysts I began the process of generating a long list of candidate players who might fit the bill at Rovers. In the end I identified around 130 mostly European-based players, and we began the process of getting up-to-date scouting reports on all of them. Six pre-season friendlies were arranged, keeping an eye on the expenditure, so we would travel no further than Scotland for the training games. One of our main approaches was to create skill profiles for the different positions, and not to only focus on one type of player in each role.*

    I would also be recruiting to a fit a tactical plan. Four defenders will be standard, and two forwards, but we will be flexible in switching between a classic 4-4-2 and a diamond midfield. Generally we will strive for a balanced style of play, look to play pretty direct, and implement an offside system. Depending on the opposition we will seek to recover the ball more or less aggressively.

    Spoiler!


    In total I sign twenty four players to the club, with no outgoings, for a combined fee of £195k. That is a pretty nice budget for a League Two team, so we should have a pretty decent season, although I’m not overly focussed on promotion as a must-have aim this year. As long as we are competitive and see good key numbers I will be happy.

    Here are the new faces, signed the Intrinsic Way. Apart from McGlyn they were all signed as youngsters or backups so the wages are very reasonable.

    Goalkeeper:
    Spoiler!


    Central Defenders:
    Spoiler!


    Full Backs:
    Spoiler!


    Defensive Midfielder:
    Spoiler!



    Central Midfielders:
    Spoiler!


    Wide Midfielders & Wingers:
    Spoiler!


    Forwards:
    Spoiler!


    Pre-season objectives
    Hire my team of analysts - done!
    Build a squad of intrinsically valuable players for less than the available £250k transfer budget - done!
    Complete pre-season fixture schedule with signs of some good numbers in key skill positions.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    * This means that I created different sets of weightings in the CM Scout Intrinsic tool for each position. For example, for wide midfielders one profile hoped to identify flair winger types, another one more creative wide midfielders, and finally hard-working and disciplined wide men. I tried to keep these profiles as simple as possible because I’m looking for those players who are really good at one or two things rather than complete players which are typically only found at the best clubs.
    Last edited by Kenny Dalglish's Smile; 11-10-18 at 09:23 AM.

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  7. #5

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    Feel free to suggest any metrics you are interested to look out for, by the way, and I will try to keep an eye on them. I'll routinely be looking at dribbles, tackles and stuff like that. It could be nice to try to track a few less obvious ones...

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    Claudio Zola and Josh Blake looks immense for that level

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    Yep. I'm pretty excited about Bachtobji as well. He should make a lot of tackles by my reckoning. Question is, does making a lot of tackles equal a good overall defence?

  11. #8
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    It's a interesting one. I've seen MC's with 8.00+ Avg rating and then sub 5 for goals and/or assists

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    This looks like it has potential for a great story!

    I thought it'd be with the latest update at first but then mention of Boxall meant it wasn't I remember him as being decent on the ODB for Brentford.

    On to the signings, I must admit that not many names jump out at me. Hopefully they'll live up to their intrinsic potential!

    PS > I did a similar game at home once where I'd buy players based only on particular attributes. E.g. pace + finishing for strikers, crossing + pace for wingers, passing + tackling for defensive midfielders, etc. It worked very well in the lower leagues but I struggled once I got near to the top. I didn't use any tools, just filtered the player search facility to only those particular attributes and disregarded the rest.

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  14. #10

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    Yeah, my profiles were simple like those you mention, although there were a few more variations and some of them prioritise less 'fashionable' skills while I try to figure out where the best value lies. The difference - I think - is that it's not the raw values which matter so much. So, e.g. Therkildsen have off the ball of 13 but his intrinsic off the ball is really high (because all of his other CA15 stats, apart from finishing are terrible).

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 03

    Let’s have a quick blast through pre-season, then. I will follow the forum-approved club badges approach!



    Pre-season Game 1: Colchester United (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: Howie - Bostock, Austin, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Astafjevs, Osinski, Carlisle - Bertarelli, Grazioli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1-Colchester Utd 1
    Goals: Grazioli; Izzet (p)
    MoM: Grazioli
    Notes: A decent enough performance, we took the lead half-way through the first half, Grazioli scoring after Colchester keeper McKinney parried a Bertarelli shot into his path. Much of the game was a typical first pre-season event with not a lot of cohesive play from either side. The most noteworthy event was Bostock fouling Mick Stockwell to concede the penalty and receive a red card for his troubles. Not the start he was looking for on his (non-competitive) debut, and pretty harsh from referee Phil Richards. Bachtobji won 5/5 tackles, 4 of them key, a good start from him.



    Pre-season Game 2: Aidrieonians (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlyn - Bostock, Austin, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic -Godfrey, Bastow - Collins - Bertarelli, Therkildsen
    Result: Aidrieonians 1-Bristol Rovers 1
    Goals: Vareille; Collins
    MoM: Ritchie (Aidrie)
    Notes: First run out for the diamond formation, with some strong performances. Godfrey was class in centre mid and set up Collins with a clever through ball after 13 minutes. Following his sending off Bostock had another poor game with missed tackles and aerial duels. He may not be ready yet for first team action. Overall the team dominated a draw was the least we deserved.



    Pre-season Game 3: Berwick Rangers (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: Howie - Challis, Moss, Tesoro, Boxall - McKeever, Astafjevs, Godfrey, Carlisle- Blake, Grazioli
    Result: Berwick 1 - Bristol Rovers 5
    Goals: Crawford; Blake (3), Therkildsen, Palini (p)
    MoM: Blake
    Notes: A hattrick for youngster Blake on his first start where he absolutely dominated the Berwick centre backs in the air using his superior strength and aggression. Therkildsen impressed off the bench and has done enough to earn a contract offer during his trial. Godfrey continued his impressive performances in midfield, completing twice as many passes as any other player in the pitch except for Astafjevs and Tesoro.

    Berwick played several different formations during the game and created chances. Howie played will in goal and actually came close to being MoM in a high scoring win!



    Pre-season Game 4: Dagenham and Redbridge (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlyn - Kaczmarek, Austin, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Godfrey - Collins - Blake, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Dag & Red 1
    Goals: Collins, Ducros; Junior
    MoM: Godfrey

    Notes: Our best performance yet in pre-season based on the ratio of good chances created by both sides, but we only win it with a last minute goal, Ducros showing excellent speed to break through and finish a lovely through ball from Osinski. Earlier, Godfrey and Collins had connected again to open the scoring, but Dagenham and Redbridge were quickly level after Junior headed in from a corner. Aerial defending has been a weakness so far and is worth monitoring. Otherwise our defensive solidity was good in open play, with Mandic very effective at DMC. No repeat performance from Blake, however, although inconsistency in young players is to be expected, and is one of the reasons why I have tried to secure some forwards with more experience. Austin is injured and will miss two weeks.



    Pre-season Game 5: Yeovil Town (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlyn - Challis, Barrett, Bachtobji, Tesoro - McKeever, Astafjevs, Godfrey, Palini - Collins, Bertarelli
    Result: Yeovil 1 - Bristol Rovers 3
    Goals: Giles; Collins, Bertarelli, Blake
    MoM: Bertarelli

    Notes: A strong performance vs conference side Yeovil. Bertarelli had a dominant game, Collins scored again and Godfrey, with his 4th assist in 4 games, is pushing hard for a starting place in the side. Blake was lively when he came on, and the only disappointment were a lethargic performance from Tesoro at right back, and the lack of a clean sheet again. Challis is performing better than expected at left back - the benefit of competition for places, maybe?




    Pre-season Game 6: Cheltenham Town (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: Howie - Kaczmarek, Coynes, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Carlisle - Grazioli, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Cheltenham 0
    Goals: McKeever, Bertarelli
    MoM: Howie

    Notes: The final pre-season outing in front of a healthy 5500 fans at the Memorial ground and our first clean sheet! Having said that, it was not so much dominant defensive player, as some very high quality goalkeeping. It seems that Scott Howie doesn’t want to lose his starting berth to Gary McGlyn without a fight, and good for him! Interesting debut from young centre back Coynes, and Bachtobji showed another side of his game with an impressive aerial display. Godfrey again influential in midfield, and Bertarelli has done enough with his all action play to pencil his name in as a starting forward this season.


    So, which of the new players have impressed during pre-season? A few have staked a very strong claim for the first team, and we can expect to see Bachtobji, Mandic, Osinski, Godfrey, Collins, and Bertarelli all to feature heavily in the early months of the campaign. Gary McGlyn is named number one keeper and captain of the side, as well as designated penalty taker! Scott Howie is promised the league cup and FA Trophy and will hopefully continue to push hard for a start.

    Choosing a captain was quite hard, and I realise that I haven’t prioritised leadership amongst the player profiles. I will look into that in future transfer windows.

    With the pre-season schedule completed I sent the squad for fitness evaluations and received some very nasty surprises. Fully half of our centre backs are carrying long term injuries and require surgery! Kevin Austin and Paul Moss will need 6 months of treatment, while Sean Cooney will miss a minimum of 3 months! Given this lack of defensive cover I make a one year signing of Italian defender Claudio Zola who had previously been scouted but considered unnecessary to acquire.

    Next stop: the real football begins!

    August schedule:

    Kidderminster Harriers (H)
    Swansea City (A)
    Huddersfield Town (League Cup - H)
    Bournemouth (A)
    Cambridge Utd (H)

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  17. #12
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    Giuliano Grazioli! Loved that guy on the ODB and in CM 00/01, think he was at Stevenage, Peterborough or Rushden?

    Solid pre-season btw!

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  19. #13

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    Yep, pretty happy with that. We were undefeated which is great, and look like we can create chances for the forwards. Defending set pieces and generally crosses may need some work, and we do not have any really aerially dominant centre backs. Sean Cooney might be that player, but at 17 I don't think we should expect him to carry a lot of first team action at such a critical position, and those 3 months out won't help either

    Grazioli has recently signed from Rushden in this parallel universe, iirc.

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    I'd have been questioning the buying team if Zola had been passed up!

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    • Dunford
    • A GK with 17 for flair
    • Wow – some lovely defenders there - Bachtobji looks standout for me
    • Bit light on DM?
    • Ducros looks a BEAST
    • As does Collins!
    • Interested to see Blake
    • Fox at 15
    • Good pre-season results overall
    • 5.5k attendance – that’ll do!
    • Keeper penalty taker
    • Shit – 3 long injuries there – and unexpected!
    • Ah – the mighty Swans coming up

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 04

    August’s Fixtures

    League Two Game 1: Kidderminster Harriers (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: Howie - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Carlisle - Bertarelli, Therkildsen
    Result: Bristol Rovers 5 - Kidderminster 1
    Goals: Therkildsen (5); Henriksen
    MoM: Therkildsen

    Notes: Well, that went rather well! Therkildsen with possibly the greatest debut of all time. He completed his hattrick within 20 minutes of the start, and netted once more each side of half-time to net a fantastic 5-er! Meanwhile, Bo Henriksen clawed one back for Kiddy to complete a clean sweep for the Danes on display. McKeever, Bertarelli, Godfrey, Osinski and Challis made the assists, but Zola had less good fortune and was culpable for Kidderminster’s goal when he was too easily outmuscled by Henriksen who headed home from close range.


    League Two Game 2: Swansea City (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlyn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic -Astafjevs, Godfrey - Collins - Bertarelli, Therkildsen
    Result: Swansea 0 - Bristol Rovers 0
    Goals: -
    MoM: Mumford (Swansea)

    Notes: A decent result against a strong Swansea team was defined by some wayward finishing. We created 16 opportunities, but Roger Freestone in the Swansea goal was only called into action 6 times. Partly this was a result of the excellent performance by Swansea center back Mumford, who always seemed to be there to snuff out trouble or put our forwards off their aim. Defensively our back 4 was very strong in this game, catching Swansea offside 9 times and Zola showed a much better level in this game. Finally, Bertarelli continues to put in consistent performances, he just needs to start finding the net a bit more regularly.


    League Cup Round 1: Huddersfield Town (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: Howie - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Garratt, Astafjevs, Osinski, Carlisle- Blake, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - Huddersfield Town 2
    Goals: Blake; Irons (p), Youds
    MoM: Blake

    Notes: This game started at a wild pace. Garratt crossed for Blake to head home after 9 minutes but within 5 minutes we were behind. Garratt fouled Ibrahim to concede the pen, and then Youds headed in form a corner. Having gained the lead Mick Wadsworth’s team dug in and set out to protect what they had and despite creating a number of decent chances we couldn’t find a way past Kevin Pressman. Our finishing, lethal in the opening game vs Kidderminster has been less than what is required the last two games. It was disappointing to go out of the cup at the first hurdle, but this was a generally good performance against a team from a higher division, and we move the ball well. Blake won 14 aerial duels in the match, which is crazy good numbers and indicative that he has intrinsic talent in this area. He is showing signs of becoming a very useful targetman forward.


    League Two Game 3: AFC Bournemouth (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlyn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Carlisle - Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    Result: [b]Bournemouth 0 - Bristol Rovers 4/b]
    Goals: Osinski, Therkildsen, McGlyn (p), Blake
    MoM: Osinski

    Notes: By the time Digby was dismissed on 38 minutes for Bournemouth the game was already pretty much in the bag, and once they went down to 10 Bournemouth never even looked like getting back into it. Osinski was superb in central midfield, and keeper McGlyn scored from the penalty spot to open his account.He has scored as many as he has conceded in the league now :-)

    Bachtobji continues to average around 5 tackles per game, and Godfrey used his experience to keep possession for large portions of the game allowing us to rest on the ball for much of the second half.


    League Two Game 4: Cambridge Utd (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlyn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Astafjevs, Garratt - Collins - Blake, Therkildseni
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Cambridge Utd 0
    Goals: Collins, Blake
    MoM: Blake

    Notes: One of those league two games which comes just two days after the previous fixtures so I rang the changes and went with the diamond midfield for the first time at home this season. Zola pulled up injured after 10 minutes (he will probably miss 2-3 games) and Tesoro came in for his debut and played very well there. Collins and Blake continue to look dangerous in this shape, but it was not plain sailing and we need McGlyn in fine form to keep the clean sheet.

    Nevertheless, we end August undefeated in the league and in 3rd place behind Rushden and Diamonds, and Southend.

    Awards:

    MotM: Rob Newman (Southend)
    PotM: Michal Osinski (Bristol Rovers)
    YPotM: Joel Johnson (Darlington)


    September schedule:

    Bury (A)
    Hull (H)
    Darlington (A)
    Carlisle (H)
    Torquay (A)

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  26. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dermotron View Post
    I'd have been questioning the buying team if Zola had been passed up!
    We had enough DCs at the point the scout report came in. When we needed cover, he was top of the shortlist

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    • Dunford
    • A GK with 17 for flair
    • Keeper penalty taker
    He's off the mark

  27. #18
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    Great win v Cambridge with only 2 days after last game!

    Was Kidderminster 5 or 6 goals?!

    Super Swans and Big Rog doing me proud. Mumford decent defender and doing well 5+ years in on my Swans story (playing elsewhere)

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    Solid month! Setting the pace nice and early. Osinski with a monthly award too!

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 05

    A very promising start in August, then, and here are…

    September’s Fixtures

    League Two Game 5: Bury F.C. (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn- Challis, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Astafjevs, Godfrey - Collins - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Bury 0 - Bristol Rovers 1
    Goals: Collins
    MoM: Colin Woodthorpe

    Notes: We start out with a trip to ‘sunny’ Gigg Lane. With Zola out for a couple of matches Tesoro gets his full debut alongside Bachtobji and has himself a pretty leisurely Saturday afternoon out as we dominate the game without ever killing it off. Astafjev tees up Collins after 12 minutes and that will do it. Our centre midfield of Mandic, Astafjevs and Godfrey are the most cohesive unit on the day.


    League Two Game 6: Hull City (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Carlisle - Grazioli, Therkildsen
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - Hull City 1
    Goals: McKeever
    MoM: Justin Whittle

    Notes: Peter Taylor’s Hull side are the pre-season favourites for promotion, so this game should be one where we get to measure ourselves against the best that the division has to offer. Hull are strong throughout their 11, Anderson and Whittle are both centre backs who could do well at a higher level, and they have added Fabian Wilnis from Ipswich Town to their backline over the summer. Ryan Williams is one of the best wingers in the division, and will feed Gary Alexander and Stuart Elliott similarly will likely find themselves success in at least the Championship in future. Their other players are decent, too!

    Hull start on the front foot, shading possession but creating all of the early chances. It doesn’t take them log to establish a lead when John Anderson heads home from a Williams corner on 11 minutes. If anything, this causes them to commit even more to attack, and their approach is to establish a dominant lead before half-time. McGlynn makes a couple of sharp stops, but I wouldn’t say he keeps us in it; rather, Hull’s finishing is not quite sharp enough and our defending is just about good enough to prevent any additions to the score. As the first half comes to a close we start to fashion a few chances ourselves, the best of them falling to Grazioli, but Bastock is equal to it with a sharp save.

    The second half is mostly all Rovers with infrequent counter-attacks from Hull. We edge the possession and spend almost half of the period in Hull’s final third. With that much domination we do make the break through after 63 minutes, Godfrey with a chipped pass over the Hull backline for McKeever to run on to from the left and finish at the near post. His first of the season, and reward for Godfrey who had been creating chances before finally linking up decisively with his winger.

    An exciting start to the second half, but actually the rest of the match is relatively tame, and both sides settle for the draw as the game draws to a close. Not a bad result against a dangerous and high-scoring side.

    After the match I caught up with Peter Taylor for a little chinwag about his recent time as England Manager (for one match). “You don’t realise what you have done, mate”, I told him, “now Beckham is going to be captain FOREVER.” He just shrugged. “I wanted to name Seth Johnson, but the FA wouldn’t let me.” Quite.


    League Two Game 7: Darlington F.C. (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Astafjevs, Garratt - Collins - Grazioli, Blake
    Result: Darlington 1 - Bristol Rovers 3
    Goals: Convery; Collins (2), McGlynn (p)
    MoM: David Collins

    Notes: This was a midweek game after the tiring Hull City game so I rang the changes to keep fresh legs where possible. Claudio Zola came back from injury, and I rotated the forward line as well as the formation, returning to the diamond. Darlington are right up there in 4th place, and they started like a train, Convery opening the scoring on 21 minutes. I love it when we respond immediately to a goal conceded, and that is what we did here, going straight up the other end and David Collins winning the penalty which McGlynn tucked away without fuss. By half time we had three goals, a nice finish and a header from Collins who is excelling in the tip of the diamond position so far. Tesoro replaced Boxall at right back during the break, and while the second half was a bit scrappy, with very few chances, we saw this one out very nicely indeed.

    League Two Game 8: Carlisle Utd (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Tesoro - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Carlisle - Bertarelli, Therkildseni
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Carlisle Utd 0
    Goals: Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    MoM: Michal Osinski

    Notes: Carlisle are another side expected to be up there challenging at the end of the season, and in Brian Wake they have a very dangerous forward, and it was a relief that he would miss this one with a knock. Overall this game was fairly even, with few chances, and us shading it and showing more deadly finishing. It might not have been an end to end classic, but I was very happy with all the team units. The defence was extremely strong - Bachtobji 10 tackles won from 12, Tesoro 9 from 9 in for the injuted Boxall at right back - Osinski and Godfrey ran the midfield, and the forwards both scored from the chances they should have. Great stuff! And, we go top after this result. This might have been a different result if Carlisle had had Wake on the pitch, but them’s the breaks.


    League Two Game 9: Torquay United (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Tesoro - Mandic - Osinski, Godfrey - Collins - Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    Result: Torquay 0 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: Collins, Blake
    MoM: David Collins

    Notes: The dreaded ‘we are top they are last fixture’ which so often seems to throw up an upset. Torquay played pretty well, although we should have been ahead before the breakthrough finally came on 75 minutes, Challis with the cut back on the overlap and Collins tucks it away for another goal. As Torquay pushed for the equalizer Collins turned provider with a through ball to substitute Blake who smashed home a goal to guarantee we finish September top of the league.

    Top of the league and undefeated! Osinski is top player in the league and David Collins is second. I haven’t yet figured out the best way to get them both in the same 11, though…

    Hull City and Swansea City are just below us in the other promotion places.


    Awards:

    MotM: Me! (Bristol Rovers)
    PotM: Brian Wake (Carlisle)
    YPotM: Christopher Ward (Lincoln)


    October schedule:

    Exeter (H)
    Leyton Orient (A)
    Shrewsbury Town (H)
    Oxford United (A)
    Rochdale (H)
    York City (A)
    Macclesfield Town (H)
    Last edited by Kenny Dalglish's Smile; 19-10-18 at 03:03 PM.

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  31. #21
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    A solid month!

    Justin Whittle at Hull, he was awful at Stoke

  32. #22

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    Aye, another good month and proof positive that the intrinsic method is working well at League Two level. Whittle is too good for this division in the ODB. Yet another one of those who was less impressive in real life, just sorry you had to be the one watching it

  33. #23

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 06

    A great start to the season sees us top of League Two after September’s fixtures, but many a side has got carried away after a great start and ended up floundering. October is another busy month, and it won’t all go our way.

    So far this season I have been changing up the tactics between a flat 442 and a 442 diamond which I have mainly been using away from home. While I have selected those 2 formations to suit the intrinsics recruitment approach there are some small variations to watch out for. For example, I’m trying to work Kaczmarek in at left back from time-to-time, especially when playing the diamond where I hope that the fullbacks can offer more in attack - Kaczmarek has pretty insane intrinsic dribbling, and can I figure out a way to play both David Collins (FC) and Michal Osinski (AMFC) in the same formation, given that they are the two highest rated players in the league at the end of September?

    League Two Game 10: Exeter City (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn- Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Tesoro - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Carlisle - Bertarelli, Therkildsen
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - Exeter City 0
    Goals: Therkildsen
    MoM: Claudio Zola

    Notes: Is this a derby? It’s not really, is it? Well, Exeter play it like it is a derby game, flying into tackles and making life really difficult. Nevertheless, we are able to rise above the hustle and bustle to take another 3 points in front of 7500 supporters. Osinski sets up Therkildsen for the winner late in the first half and Rovers march on. Bertarelli picked up a gashed leg for his troubles and will miss a couple of weeks. Osinski, though? What a signing he has been so far.




    League Two Game 11: Leyton Orient (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Atafjevs, Godfrey - Collins - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Leyton Orient 1 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: Toner; Collins, Therkildsen
    MoM: Rune Therkildsen

    Notes: Kaczmarek comes in at left back as I try to get more width from the full back position with this narrow midfield. The ‘O’s’ are well up for this battle in front of their own fans at Brisbane Road and they quickly establish a lead, with former Tottenham trainee Ciaran Toner making the third man run into the box and finishing with a lovely low shot into corner giving McGlynn no chance. Orient are a nice footballing team, and they dominate possession in the match with 62% overall. They also create the better clear cut opportunities, with 7 shots on target from 9 attempts. We, on the other hand, are happy to let them pass it around in their own half and we do a great job of taking the ball away when they come close to our goal and repeatedly counter attack them, generating 14 shots on goal. Even though only 4 of those shots trouble the keeper it is enough to take all the points, with Collins (again!) and Therkildsen both netting. It might not be Brazil 1970 but our direct style is proving to be pretty effective so far, and that is fine!


    League Two Game 12: Shrewsbury Town (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Garratt - Therkildsen, Collins
    Result: Bristol Rovers 3 - Shrewsbury Town 1
    Goals: Therkildsen, Collins (2); Jagielka
    MoM: David Collins

    Notes: We eased to victory here, in a match where I tried to find one way for Collins and Osinski to play together. Osinski played in central midfield as he has all season, breaking forwards, while Collins was fielded for the first time as a centre forward alongside Therkildsen. The result was obviously satisfactory, but it is hard to draw any real conclusions because we dominated in every area here, even managing to have more possession than the opponent for the first time this season! Shrewsbury scored through their midfielder Stephen Jagielka… yes, he is Phil’s big brother.


    League Two Game 13: Oxford Utd (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Godfrey - Collins - Bertarelli, Therkildsen
    Result: Oxford Utd 3 - Bristol Rovers 1
    Goals: Omoyinmi (2), Savage; Bertarelli
    MoM: Emmanuel Omoyinmi

    Notes: Oxford United: worst badge in the division.

    Well, we started this game quite well and were 3-0 down after 25 minutes! Both Garratt and Godfrey had presentable chances early on, but the conditions would make the game difficult and it was Oxford who capitalised. McGlynn couldn’t hold onto Hackett’s volley and Omonyinmi was there to tap home. Bachtobji then fouled Hackett and Savage placed a beauty of a freekick into the top corner. We then created several chances which Giles Rousset did well to keep out before Lee Steele forced a great save out of McGlynn. I couldn’t believe it when the save came back off the post and basically ricocheted off Omonyinmi again to leave us three down!

    At half time I switched us back to a flat 442, with Montenegro coming on for his debut at left wing, Enrico Palini at right mid, and Grazioli replacing Therkildsen at center forward who was carrying a knock. The tactical switch worked, and we battered on the door for most of the second half. Unfortunately we couldn’t break through until 80 minutes when Bertarelli got on to a knock down from Grazioli, but it was too little, too late. Despite creating more and better chances over the 90 minutes, Oxford’s early blitz handed us our first loss of the season.

    Unlucky 13!


    League Two Game 14: Rochdale (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Palini - Therkildsen, Blake
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2- Rochdale 0
    Goals: Therkildsen, Blake
    MoM: Mark McKeever

    Notes: This was a pretty routine win in the end, but important that we picked ourselves up from the Oxford disappointment. Therkildsen continued his fine month with his 4th goal of October, and Blake scored another header. Palini kept his place after a nice substitute appearance in the previous game and will challenge Carlisle for starts at MR going forwards.


    League Two Game 15: York City (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Challisk, Zola, Tesoro, Boxall - Mandic - Astafjevs, Osinski - Collins - Bertarelli, Blake
    Result: York City 1 - Bristol Rovers 3
    Goals: Grant; Jones (o.g.), Collins, Blake
    MoM: David Collins

    Notes: It’s that man David Collins picking up the MotM again from the number 10 role. A flying start as Scott Jones headed Collins’s first minute freekick into his own net. Forward Gareth Grant equalised after 22 minutes for City, but Blake and Collins continued their fine form to build an unassailable lead by half time. Slavko Mandic is worthy of mention in this match report. His performances at DMC haven’t garnered much attention so far, but he is quietly building an impressive body of work. My previous analysis has not backed up the commonly held belief that DMC is one of the most important positions in CM0102, but Mandic is making a case so far this season.

    Kettering win their FA Cup qualifying round with Bedford and we will play them in the FA Cup first round. This tie was interesting as both sides have players that my analysts had identified as Intrinsically Valuable: forward Andy Morson at Bedford, and several players at Kettering, including Dale Watkins, Gez Murphy (both long time CM-series bargains) and a young Callum Wilson.


    League Two Game 16: Macclesfield Town (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Palini - Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - Macclesfield 0
    Goals: Palini
    MoM: Mohamed Bachtobji

    Notes: I don’t know about you, but for me Macclesfield will always mean the Macc Lads, and the Macc lads are in reality nowt but a very poor imitation of Half Man Half Biscuit with none of the charm or smarts. So any fixture against Macclesfield is personal! And therefore this 1-0 win, with unlikely hero Enrico Palini heading in a McKeever cross was all the sweeter!

    All in all, another fine month for intrinsic approach.



    Awards:

    MotM: Alan Murrray (Lincoln City)
    PotM: Brian Wake (Carlisle) - again
    YPotM: Christopher Ward (Lincoln) - again


    November schedule:

    Kettering (FA Cup First Round - A)
    Southend Utd (H)
    Lincoln City (A)
    Hartlepools (H)

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  35. #24
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    • A helluva set of results in first update
    • The “Pole” doing a lot better than he looks fair play!
    • Orient looks a bit of a lucky win for you based on shots on target
    • Don’t think Oxford took kindly to you slagging off their crest so gave you a battering
    • You’ve lost me on the Macclesfield songs
    • Flying in the league – promotion already looks good. How much cash in bank? Makin/losing money monthly? How are attendances?
    • Scouting for Bosmans or Jan recruits?

  36. #25

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    I'm always scouting but not really looking to strengthen the team unless there are a lot of outs. I have a decent backup for pretty much every position in the reserves anyway.

    I definitely upset the bull - just look at his face!

    Does have the sense of a season where we will be going up in first place (mocker alert).

    Not sure where that Macc Lads/HMHB stuff came from, except for Friday night posting

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